PHOTOBOOK: When they were young (I)

(this is the first article in the multiseries) Funny, how people with a knack already look the part of success at a young age. They have the shine, that thing that can't be defined with words but that says, "I can't be for sure where, but I'm going places." The viewer of these images likely projects unto them, a forecasting of extraordinariness, the success that we're familiar with but that the ... more >

Jersey Boys

Bravo, Clint Eastwood!
John Lloyd Young and Erich Bergen
Directed by Clint Eastwood

Bravo, Clint Eastwood! With “Jersey Boys,” the director moves away from his sometimes schlocky and often manipulative movies such as “Invictus,” “Gran Torino,” or “Hereafter,” and gives us a biopic as moving as it is entertaining. Like the Broadway musical, it’s a story of greed, success, fall and redemption, none of it unpleasant as the protagonists are young, gifted, and for the most part ... more >

Trouble with the curve

Taking the one last trip, together
Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake
Directed by Robert Lorenz

Life's about curveballs. Case in point: no one expected Clint Eastwood to debate an empty chair at the Republican National Convention. Likewise no one likely thought his first acting role since 2008’s "Grand Torino" (SEE our review) would be in something so draggy and lightweight as “Trouble with the Curve.” Eastwood's Gus is all growl, stubbornness and agitation--look out, furniture. A ... more >


I am the master of my destiny, the captain of my soul
Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon and Tony Kgoroge
Directed by Clint Eastwood

There’s always a moment in a Clint Eastwood-directed film, or maybe two or three, where you become uneasy, not certain he’ll manage not to cross the line that separates earnest from corny. Think back at the hospital scenes in “Million-Dollar Baby,” at the grudging friendship developing between a bigoted old white man and his Asian neighbors in “Gran Torino” and so forth. “Invictus,” ... more >

Gran Torino

Modern Eastwood's best
Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang and Christopher Carley
Directed by Clint Eastwood

More than an Oscar for Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood deserves a lifetime achievement award for his steadfastedness in being Clint Eastwood. More than any other, the actor has been true to a persona that goes way beyond Dirty Harry to his very first western with Sergio Leone, 1964's A Fistful of Dollars. Over the last half century, he has always been not quite the same and not quite different: ... more >


Trying to get past the melodrama
Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore and Amy Ryan
Directed by Clint Eastwood

With its overwrought emotions and black-and-white morality, melodrama is a form of storytelling that we believe our society has moved past. We’re too sophisticated now to toss popcorn at the stage. “Melodramatic” is almost always a negative adjective. We almost never see a melodrama that isn’t saturated with post-modern irony. So as Clint Eastwood dresses up Angelina Jolie in flapper garb, ... more >